Tuesday April 23, 2019

Anti-inflammatory Drugs May Put You at Heart Attack Risk

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted

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Heart Attack, women
Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk. Pixabay

If you have been hit by the winter cold and are thinking about taking medicines that relieve your aches, pains and congestion, be careful. Those may also put your heart at risk, the American Heart Association has warned.

A study has showed that both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, “which dries you up”, said Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Univerity’s Ciccarone Center in Baltimore.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

heart disease
Representational image. (IANS)

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalised for heart attacks.

Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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People who are sick should use both classes of medications — decongestants and NSAIDs — judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

In addition, decongestants should not be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a healthcare provider, DePalma said.

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted.  (IANS)

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Smoking, High BP Increases Risk of Heart Attack Recurrence

Previous studies have defined young heart attack patients as less than 45-years-old while some used a less than 40-year-old cut-off

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Cigarette
Smoking, high BP raises risk of heart attack relapse: Study. Pixabay

Young men who are chain smokers or suffer from hypertension could be at an increased risk of heart attack recurrence, researchers have warned.

The study found that risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, family history of heart disease and chronic kidney disease were more prevalent among the patients who experienced a relapse.

“When treating younger patients with a history of heart attack, clinicians should emphasise better control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes,” said Joanne Karen Recacho-Turingan, a cardiology student from The Medical City in Manila, Philippines.

“Other modifiable risk factors to highlight in patient history and address with these patients include smoking habits and obesity,” Recacho-Turingan added.

The findings were presented at the Asia Conference 2018 in Shanghai.

blood pressure
BP-monitoring machine. Pixabay

For the study, researchers analysed 133 young patients and found that males (90.1 per cent) with an average age of 40.9 years, experienced a second heart attack compared to females (9.9 per cent) with an average age of 39.6 years.

In addition, in these male patients, chest pain was the most common presenting symptom (81.8 per cent) while 90.9 per cent had unstable vital signs.

Heart attack in young patients can cause disability and even death at the prime of life. There are often serious consequences for these patients, their families and the health system, which can lead to an increased economic burden, according to the study.

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“We must make sure to work with these patients on their modifiable risk factors to reduce their risk not just for a second heart attack, but hopefully, even preventing the first,” Recacho-Turingan noted.

Previous studies have defined young heart attack patients as less than 45-years-old while some used a less than 40-year-old cut-off. (IANS)